Monday Kickoff: Rooney accepts ban; FIFA execs dispute Blatter; and more

Monday Kickoff: Rooney accepts ban; FIFA execs dispute Blatter; and more

European Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Rooney accepts ban; FIFA execs dispute Blatter; and more



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While many players would take the option of appealing such a ban, Wayne Rooney has accepted his punishment.

The Manchester United captain has accepted his three-match ban for a red card issued to the forward in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over West Ham. Rooney, who will miss clashes with Everton, West Brom and Chelsea, was sent off for a tackle on West Ham’s Stewart Downing.

“It was probably the right decision,” Rooney said said. “I saw the West Ham player making a counterattack and I tried to break up the play, but I just misjudged it.

“I understand it,” he added. “I knew at the time that I misjudged it. It is a red card and I don’t think it will benefit anyone to appeal against the decision.”

Rooney will be eligible to return to the Manchester United lineup on Nov. 2 against crosstown rivals Manchester City.

Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Monday morning:


Days after the FIFA president came out and denied the presence of requests for the release of private reports, members of FIFA’s Executive Committee remain furious.

According to reports, members of the committee repeatedly requested the publishing of reports regarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in a meeting Friday. However, according to Blatter in a statement released shortly after, no requests were made and the results would remain private.

A FIFA exec revealed that Blatter’s claims that there were no requests was simply “a bunch of rubbish,” while also pointing out that Blatter sought to diffuse the situation by agreeing to ask a FIFA ethics judge to submit a summarized version of the report to executives.

FIFA’s head ethics judge, chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert, insisted last week that the reports would be private.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic has has one of the most illustrious careers in modern history. However, despite collecting countless league titles and individual awards, the Swede has always missed one title on is resume: Champions League winner.

Ibrahimovic’s best chance came with the 2010 Barcelona team, who fell in the semi-finals to the forward’s former club, Inter Milan. The current PSG forward, who has had a longstanding feud with former manager Pep Guardiola, has hinted that the Spanish manager should be blamed for Barca’s disappointing defeat.

“We had the best team in the world, for sure. But we failed to win the Champions League because of bad decisions from someone,” Ibrahimovic said.”But it’s like that. It’s nothing to complain about today. You have to forget it because I had great moments at Barcelona.

“I’d be very happy if I could win it, of course,” Ibrahimovic said of the Champions League. “After your career, you look at how many trophies you have. If I win, it’d be great, if not, it wouldn’t be a failure.”

Ibrahimovic’s PSG return to Champions League action Tuesday with a visit from Barcelona.


While almost any team in the world would see improvement with the addition of Eden Hazard, Paris-Saint Germain have always been the one most heavily linked to the Belgian star. However, Hazard himself is not as keen on a move back to France.

Hazard, who moved from Ligue 1’s Lille to Chelsea in 2012, says he will not move back to Ligue 1 unless it is to play with Lille, ruling out a move to powerhouse PSG.

“When I left Lille, I wanted to leave France, so I couldn’t have signed for PSG,” Hazard said. “Every year I’m the priority of PSG. But I’m at Chelsea and this is where I want to grow. This is the most important.

“Never say never, but if I came back to Ligue 1, it would be with Lille, the team I support and I still love.”

Hazard did go on to admit that PSG are one of the world’s top clubs, but the Chelsea star went on to say that the French powerhouse has more to do to join the continent’s elite.

“Today, Paris is in the same world as Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern [Munich],” Hazard said, “but if they want to be part of the best, they must win the Champions League.”


Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp and Mats Hummels insist that the German powerhouse will find their form as the team’s stars return from injury. (REPORT)

Manchester City’s Joe Hart is set to return to the lineup for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Roma after the English goalkeeper was an unused substitute in the last two matches. (REPORT)

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has defended Steven Gerrard from critics attacking that Liverpool captain. (REPORT)

Inter manager Walter Mazzariri accepts blame for his side’s 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Cagliari. (REPORT)

Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke could make his return against Manchester City next week after missing time since April due to an achilles injury. (REPORT)

What do you think of Rooney’s acceptance of his three-match ban? Will the reports ever be released? Where do you stand on the Guardiola-Ibrahimovic feud? Are PSG one of the world’s top clubs?

Share your thoughts below.


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